2009-08-24 45 -122

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Mon 24 Aug 2009 in 45,-122:
45.5085199, -122.8482129

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Beaverton, Oregon, USA: in the TriMet Elmonica train yard (MAX)



I didn't plan much. I printed out a Google Maps sheet, not because I needed it, but because it might help me talk my way into the rail yard. And I programmed the GPS.


Expedition 1[edit]

I was initially thrilled this morning to see a nearby hashpoint. Then I started looking more closely at the satellite images.

  • "Hmmm - looks like an industrial site near the MAX station."
  • "Look at all those railroad tracks."
  • "Look at ALL those railroad tracks."
  • "Uhh-oh. That's the Elmonica repair yard. TriMet isn't going to be very friendly about folks wanting to visit."

I had a major project to finish up at work, so it was a pretty hectic day. But, after work I decided I'd make an attempt. I had considered calling TriMet to ask about getting access, but decided that would probably only succeed in at most providing access during the daytime, and I couldn't make it then. So I figured I'd see if I could find someone to talk into letting me wander among the active light rail tracks.

I got to the station, and looked around. I could see the hashpoint: with a tall chain link fence all around it. I took some pictures; waited a bit to see if any employees would go in the gate; and finally decided that since I saw passenger cars inside the yard on the other side, I'd look for entry on that side.

I drove over to the other side. Once again, I found a gate with instructions to use my ID to open it. I knew none of my ID's would do the trick. But there was a call box with a sign saying visitors must use the call box.

So I pushed the button. I explained what I wanted to do. They asked if I had an ID to access the yard. I replied that I didn't. That settled the matter for them and they told me I wasn't allowed in. So, I gave up and went home to domestic animals that were happy to allow me into the house.

Expeditions 2-N[edit]

A year or so ago I made another ground-based attempt at the hashpoint. I got to the corner of the building, but wasn't dressed to venture safely out into the yard, so I gave up.

After inspecting Google Maps a little more closely, I realized how close the MAX alignment was to the hashpoint. I am now commuting to Portland for work everyday, so I pass by the hashpoint on the Blue line. Watching the GPS while passing Elmonica revealed that the hashpoint was clearly under 50-60 feet from the alignment. However, we tend to be going at full speed past it, so the GPS doesn't report at the closest point and tends to go 300ft, 210ft, 110ft, 120ft, 300ft, etc... After a few more 60 foot reports, I gave up on watching it.

However, a few weeks back I was on a eastbound (!) Blue line train to City Center and I happened to check the GPS, and it reported 14 feet! Apparently hashpoint drift had struck again.

Related expedition[edit]

This expedition is to near TriMet's Eastside rail yard at Ruby Junction in Gresham, some 4.5 years later!


Jim earned the No trespassing consolation prize
by almost reaching the (45, -122) geohash on 2009-08-24.
2009-08-24 45 -123-Hashpoint.jpg